NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Barbara Ciara is a layaway angel for a family in need

Posted at 12:06 PM, Dec 24, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-24 12:06:15-05

Norfolk, Va. - We have heard quite a few stories this season of people paying it forward - giving in the spirit of the season.

Barbara Ciara put her head together with news managers, to see if others would follow us in the pursuit of taking action for those in need this holiday season.

Dontrell Smith has ten grandchildren. 

"What are you picking up here at layaway?"

"My grandkids' toys."

"What would you say if we picked up the tab?"

"I would say, Merry Christmas!"

K-mart makes it easy if you want to be a Secret Santa to someone who has toys on layaway. They keep a list and they check it twice; all you need to do is ask. Store manager Stacey Crump told me how it works.

"We take our layaways that are ready to go back on the floor, pretty much do to non payment, and we do look through those and select layaways with toys and children's items to make sure Secret Santas are paying for the best layaways."

It was fantastic roaming through the store - surprising parents who were grateful for the help.

"We wondered, what does this unexpected gift mean?"

"That means thank you God, wow that is wonderful, that is a big help as a parent," says Lakisha Atkins.

But no one was more emotional, happy, and grateful as Janear Asbell. 

"I feel very, very, happy I'm overwhelmed with joy!"

Stop for a moment and consider the fact that we pass people in the store every day and don't know what they've been through.

Janear - the mother of two honor roll teens - has had surgery, multiple hospital visits; she thought the only luck she had was bad, until today in the layaway line.

To show Janear we were for real, we counted out the money and paid the tab.

She's had the clothing for her teens on lawaway for nearly two months, and was paying a little at a time to get it out in time for Christmas. But today, no more payments - just paid in full.

"It will be a whole big blessing , a big blessing for me and my kids."

Tears of joy, that ended with a grateful smile.

If you are interested in being a Secret Santa, K-mart stores will give you an opportunity to pick up the tab for a family struggling to pay off their layaway.

It's your chance to take action and do the right thing, when no one is looking.